When we go to Tbilisi, we try to find an opportunity without any time pressure to pay homage to our passion for consuming quality wine. When the crowds are already sitting in the sultry heat of the park, we prefer to withdraw into a cool cellar, switch off from everything around us and crack open a bottle of organic Georgian wine.

Finding the wine bar was a bit of an adventure, since according to the taxi driver, there are two streets with the same name in the capital. A good piece of advice was to head for the one in the city centre, not far from Freedom Square.

Even before my visit, several people had already recommended the place. Even better, I had met one of its staff, Ének Peterson, at the new wine festival. Her Christian name may sound strange to others, but that immediately piqued my interest, as it’s a Hungarian word, the word for song. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to make sure of this for myself, although I do know she is worthy of her name and sings beautifully – even Georgian folk songs as well.

Drink is the feast of reason and the flow of soul. - Alexander Pope

The cellar’s atmosphere captivates you immediately, the warmth it exudes and the rustic décor is a true reflection of the founders’ philosophy.  It’s worth taking a good look at the interior consisting of pallet furniture, small angels and corks. Vino Underground was founded by eight wine growers who share a common philosophy in how they grow their vines and how they raise their wines. In Georgian, you don't say you ‘make’ wine, you actually say you ‘raise’ it, like raising a child until it can walk independently.

When you listen to the vines and help them have a robust immune system, through natural struggle, and by keeping a rich balance of flora and fauna in the vineyard, you end up with grapes that are naturally balanced and have lively yeast populations.

The philosophy behind the growers represented at Vino Underground is as much about taking care of the earth and drinking healthier wines as it is about the belief that this method produces wines of greater character and unique aroma and flavour transcending standardisation and homogenisation.

Ének greets me and asks what kind of wine I fancy right now. Unfortunately, I have not come across this kind of classic hospitality in too many places, where a great deal of energy and attention has clearly been invested, but apparently it presents no difficulty to anyone here. I like wine bars where the staff also knows what they are pouring into your glass and that’s no easy task with 100 family wine producers. If you get hungry, there is a wide range of things right from simple cheeses through to more sophisticated one-course meals. You can easily come across live music, but some good conversation with the locals or even the players of Georgian wine life will certainly be part of it. So get ready for some tasting!